Birthdays: William Godwin (1756), Arthur Machen (1863), Edward Thomas (1878), Fory Nichols (1896), Peter Abrahams (1919), Ronald Searle (1920), Erik Blegvad (1923), James Merrill (1926), Nicholas Freeling (1927), Patricia MacLachlan (1938), Ron Chernow (1949), Julia Glass (1956), Nicholas Shakespeare (1957), Stephen Budansky (1957), John Matteson (1961), Tyler Florence (1971)
William Godwin was a novelist and father of Mary Shelley of “Frankenstein” fame.
Roy F. Nichols was the 1949 Pulitzer Prize winner for History for “The Disruption of American Democracy”
James Merrill won the 1977 Pulitzer for Poetry
Patrician MacLachian is best known for her 1986 Newbery medal winner “Sarah, Plain and Tall”
Ron Chernow won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for “Washington” biography
Julia Glass won the 2002 National Book Award for “Three Junes”
John Matteson won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for “Eden’s Outcsts”
Quote: “My inspiration for writing is all the wonderful books that I read as a child and that I still read. I think that for those of us who write, when we find a wonderful book written by someone else, we don’t really get jealous, we get inspired, and that’s kind of the mark of what a good writer is.” – Patricia MacLachlan
Tip: Expand your professional library with books like “The Emotion Thesaurus” by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi or Roget’s Thesaurus or “Character Naming Sourcebook” by Kenyon or other reference books. And don’t just let them sit on your shelves—use them!
Jumpstart: You glance out your window late at night and see your neighbor digging a deep hole. You’ve always thought he was a strange character. Do you go out for a sneaky, but closer, look? Or do you just grab the binoculars and watch from a dark window? What is he digging the hole for? Write two scenes—one from your POV, one from his.